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More Countries Provide Radioisotope Information to IAEA, Reported Levels Very Low

Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has received responses from more than 40 countries following its request for information regarding slightly elevated levels of different radioisotopes detected in northern Europe. Most of them said they had not observed any increase in radioactivity levels.

Estonia, Finland and Sweden last week measured radioisotope concentrations on their territories of a few micro-becquerels (Bq) per cubic meter of air. Such very low radioactivity levels reported to the IAEA pose no risk to human health or the environment. The three countries said there had been no events on their territories that may have caused the observed air concentrations of Ru-103, Cs-134 and Cs-137.

Seeking to help identify their possible origin, the IAEA on Saturday contacted its counterparts in Europe and requested information on whether these radioisotopes were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

By Tuesday afternoon, a total of 37 Member States in the European region, (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom) had voluntarily reported to the IAEA that there were no events on their territories that may have caused the release. They also provided information about their own measurements and results.

In addition, seven countries which have not been approached by the IAEA – Algeria, Georgia, Kuwait, Morocco, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America – also reported information about their measurements and said there had been no relevant events on their territories.

Apart from Estonia, Finland and Sweden, none of the other countries which have so far provided information and data to the IAEA said they had detected elevated radioisotope levels.

Following its standard practice, the IAEA is sharing the data it receives with all 171 Member States via its Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies, a secure website available on a 24/7 basis for designated contact points in Member States. The IAEA will continue its efforts to analyse collected information in order to help identify the possible origin and location of the release.

Last update: 14 Jul 2020

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